geforce 9800 GTX artifacts / PSU related?

this 9800 gtx card worked with no problems at all for 3-4 hours on my computer:

amx 64 x2 4600+
biostar tf7050-m2
2gb corsair xms ddr2
200gb IDE HDD 5400
thermaltake tr2 500w PSU (12V1 @18A and 12V2 @17A)
windows 7 32bit

everything is at stock speeds.

i get artifacts once in a while, happens when i'm just web browsing, and sometimes when gaming. sometimes the computer becomes unresponsive and i have to reboot. i have gotten 1 blue screen as well. other times it has recovered and artifacts disappear and said something about the graphics card was able to be restarted.

usually, rebooting the system gets rid of all artifacts. after system crashes it has shown artifacts on bios/boot once or twice, not all the time.

the card will sometimes run an hour or more with no problems. sometimes the artifacts begin a few minutes after turning on a cold computer. i'm sometimes able to play games for and hour or more with no problems. or there can be minimal load, like writing an email and artifacts will pop up. it just doesn't seem to have a pattern.

i've monitored the GPU temp.. it sits around 53C - 55C. and has given artifacts at those temps.

i ran evga oc scanner x.. didn't find any artifacts but i only ran it 10 minutes. the GPU temp did get to 70C or so during the test with no ill effects.

is the video card dying or is it something to do with my thermaltake tr2 500w PSU (12V1 @18A and 12V2 @17A)? It came with two PCI-E power connectors.. one 6 pin, one 6+2 pin. But they both originate from the same cord. Could this be the root of all my problems?
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More about geforce 9800 gtx artifacts psu related
  1. It could very well be that your video card is dying. It looks like the video driver is crashing and has to recover, and that can be a symptom of a failing graphics card. I don't think it is the power supply as you are running into issues on idle loads, where the GPU isn't working hard, and isn't drawing much power. Typically power supplies will crap out only on higher loads, and usually when that happens the system just shuts down. It's possible that your power supply is having trouble providing stable voltages, and that could cause problems like this, but I would say the video card dying is more likely. A lot of Nvidia cards from that time frame are starting to run into problems with the solder joints decoupling due to the constant heating and cooling they go under when you put the GPU under load, and when the solder joints start to fail, artifacting starts.

    Only real way to test is to either put the 9800GTX into another system and see if it keeps artifacting and crashing, or get another power supply and see if that has an effect.
  2. Yes, try your card into another system to make sure whether your card is dying or not...
  3. haven't had any artifacts since my last post. i redid all the drivers once again.

    and i also disconnected a case fan that was being powered from the motherboard.

    will report back if problems come back. i'm almost tempted to hook up the case fan again to see if the problem returns.
  4. If it is showing artifacts at the boot screen it is not a driver issue, drivers load after POST is finished.
    Could be the fan causing excess noise (electrical interference) but it's unlikely.
    It is more likely to be a bad/loose connection, try reseating the card and memory modules as well as the powersupply cables.
    As Supernova1138 says, the solder joints will become fatigued over time, causing them to crack and eventually fail resulting in an open circuit and this may be the issue, apart from baking it (yes it works) there's nothing else to be done other than to replace the card.
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